APnh 06/09 0447 Attorneys General By JAMES L. ENG Associated Press Writer COEUR D'ALENE, I

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APnh 06/09 0447 Attorneys General By JAMES L. ENG Associated Press Writer COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- The second day of a four-day summer meeting of the nation's attorneys general continued here today with an agenda headlined by a closed-door roundtable discussion with U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III. Meese was to discuss pending cases and current enforcement efforts. Also scheduled was a dialogue led by Alexander Sukharev, president of the Association of Soviet Lawyers. On Monday, about 10 people marched in front of the resort hotel where the meeting is being held, protesting the Soviet association's presence. One demonstrator, William Wolf of the Independent Task Force on American Bar Association-Soviet Relations Inc., said he was protesting an agreement between the bar association and the Soviet organization that calls for the mutual promotion of the rule of law in the world. Wolf accused the Soviet group of being a "leading disseminator of anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic propaganda." At Monday's meeting, speakers told colleagues that community grass-roots efforts and civil legislation should be used to combat race-related and drug crimes. Monday's agenda also featured committee meetings on asbestos, consumer protection, acid rain and antitrust suits. Massachusetts Attorney General James Shannon told the criminal law and law enforcement committee his state has used broadly written criminal and civil laws to collar those who commit race-related crimes. He said the state has also recently passed new laws, such as one making it a new crime for a person to damage or destroy religious buildings. In Massachusetts, Shannon said, victims have been of all ethnic groups, including blacks, Cambodians, Hispanics, Vietnamese, whites and Chinese. In most cases, he said, seeking a civil injunction -- forbidding a person who is the object of a complaint from a certain geographical area, for example -- has proven to be "a very effective, very speedy" method of preventing further racial incidents. Maurice Ellsworth, U.S. Attorney in Idaho, said that state seemed "the most unlikely place" for race problems to surface. And yet, he said, white supremacist groups such as The Order and the Church of Jesus Christ Christian (Aryan Nations) have used the region as a springboard for their attempts to establish a whites-only homeland. "In terms of the general white supremacist movement, I'm concerned about it being spread into the general community," Ellsworth said. He noted, though, that white supremacists seemed to be preying on those down on their luck, trying to convince them that their economic hardships can be blamed on certain racial and ethnic groups. Attorney General John Van de Kamp of California asked his colleagues to pay attention to what he called a recent "upsurge" in race-related crimes. "We cannot be blind to what's going on," he said. He suggested that states explore the establishment of county human relations councils to "elevate the problem and put people to shame." Van de Kamp also suggested states follow the example of Massachusetts in pursuing legislation to provide for injunctions and better ability to prosecute race-related crimes. Frances James of South Central Organizing Committee said grass-roots organizations could mobilize local participation and interest, as well as keep tabs on politicians and conduct research. Alec Gray, former Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General and now a Boston attorney specializing in AIDS-related issues, advised states to brace for new criminal laws involving carriers who knowingly infect people with the deadly virus. In Arizona, Gray pointed out, a soldier is being court-martialed for allegedly infecting a woman and man at a military base. Whether criminal law can be used as a public health tool, Gray said, would ultimately be decided by public health officials. Legal issues involving the disease, Gray said, "pose incredibly difficult problems, analytically and practically."


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